by Valerie Brennan
On March 31, 2020, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued a notice that most trademark filing deadlines may be extended by 30 days. Specifically, any deadline that was due on or between March 27, 2020 and April 30, 2020 can be extended 30 days from the initial date due. The extension is retroactive but requires that the filing, once made, include a statement that the delay in filing was due to the COVID-19 outbreak. No filing on or before the original deadline needs to be made to take advantage of this extension.
The relief applies to due dates for:
- Responses to Office Actions (including notices of appeal from final refusals)
- Statements of Use or Requests for Extension of Time to file a Statement of Use
- Notices of Opposition or Requests for Extension of Time to file a Notice of Opposition
- Priority filings (with priority based on non-US applications)
- Transformation of International Applications to National (U.S.) applications
- Affidavits of Use or Excusable Non-Use (see prior posting on Affidavits of Excusable Non-Use)
- Renewal applications
The situations justifying the delay in filing is due to the COVID-19 outbreak are fairly broad and cover when the attorney, the applicant, the registrant, or another person associated with the filing or payment of a fee was personally affected by the COVID-19 outbreak “including, without limitation, through office closures, cash flow interruptions, inaccessibility of files or other materials, travel delays, personal for family illness, or similar circumstances” that cause the outbreak to materially interfere with timely filing or payment.
The USPTO remains open (as does Plave Koch) and the previously announced USPTO waiver of fees to revive an abandoned application or reinstate a canceled/expired registration remain available. Situations not covered by the listing, above, such as deadlines related to matters pending at the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board will be handled via requests or motions for an extension or reopening of time.
You may read the full text of the Notice here.